Ryan McDermott

  • Associate Professor

Ryan McDermott is associate professor of medieval literature and culture. He earned his Ph.D. in English from University of Virginia after completing an M.T.S. at Duke Divinity School. His first book, Tropologies: Ethics and Invention in England, c. 1350-1600 (University of Notre Dame Press, 2016), tracks changes and continuities in vernacular religious literature across the intellectual and cultural watershed of the English Reformation. Ryan directs the cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional project Genealogies of Modernity, and is working on a second book, Genealogies: How to Think about the Past and the Future in the Humanities.


Medieval Imagination; Chaucer; Intro to Critical Reading; How Do We Get to Shakespeare?; The Invention of English Literature; How to Do Things with Literature Part I; Freshman Seminar: Economics in Everyday Life; Senior Seminar: The Canterbury Tales and the Journey of Life; Bible as Literature; Happiness and Human Flourishing. 

Genealogies of Modernity; Drama, the Vernacular, and Material Presence; Early Drama and Performance Theory 

Service and Other Duties

  • On Sabbatical Leave 2023-24 Academic Year

  • Senior Research Fellow, Beatrice Institute